Camouflage scheme

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Pfalz D.III

Pfalz D.III
Code: 72031

Pfalz D.III is one of the classic fighter plane models constructed during the World War I. Together with the Albatros fighter planes, the Fokker Dr.I triplanes and, to a lesser degree, the later Pfalz D.IIIa models, Pfalz D.III models were the mainstay of the German Luftwaffe during the second half of 1917 and in the early 1918.

Pfalz D.III model was basically the very first model independently developed in the beginning of 1917 by the Bavarian company Pflaz Flugzeugwerke GmbH in Speyer am Rhein, with serial production starting later in the spring of the same year. Until then Pfalz Flugzeugwerke were either building planes under a license or converting models made by other manufacturers.

Powered by the serial, water-cooled, 6 cylinder Mercedes D III or D IIIa engines generating 160-180 HP and armed with two fixed synchronized Spandau LMG 08/15 machine guns, Pfalz D.III fighter planes were highly successful practically right from the very beginning. In early summer 1917, possibly by June already, Pfalz D.III fighter planes were being supplied to the German Jagdstaffeln fighter plane units. The famous Jagdgeschwader I unit of Baron von Richthoffen was also among the first to receive these models. In time the Pfalz D.III fighter planes were flown by many famous and lesser-known German flying aces including, for example, Rudolf Stark, Oscar von Boening, Alois Heldmann, Fritz Friedrichs and others. Model Pfalz D.III was probably not as facile as the Fokker Dr.I triplane but, in spite of its elegant flowing shapes, it was a very solid and robust fighter plane. German pilots were able to execute high-speed nosedives without any danger of the wings disintegrating. The model was also able to sustain quite extensive damage and for this reason it was used particularly for destroying the enemy reconnaissance balloons.

It is estimated that some 260 of Pfalz D.III fighter planes were made, which served in the first line until about early spring 1918 by which time they were replaced by the improved Pfalz D.IIIa fighter planes. In their time Pfalz D.III fighter planes, and the improved Pfalz D.IIIa fighter planes, played important role in the aerial fights on the western front until late towards the end of the war for they allowed German fighter pilots to fight successfully despite the increasing material and technical domination of the Allies.

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